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Nickel Carbonyl

General Description

  • Synonyms: Nickel tetracarbonyl; Tetracarbonyl nickel
  • OSHA IMIS Code Number: 1841
  • Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Registry Number: 13463-39-3
  • NIOSH Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances (RTECS) Identification Number: QR6300000
  • Department of Transportation Regulation Number (49 CFR 172.101) and Emergency Response Guidebook: 1259 131
  • NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards, Nickel carbonyl: chemical description, physical properties, potentially hazardous incompatibilities, and more

Exposure Limits

  • OSHA Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL):
  • American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) Threshold Limit Value (TLV) (2013): 0.05 ppm (0.12 mg/m3) Ceiling; A3 (TLV listed under Nickel carbonyl, as Ni)
  • National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Recommended Exposure Limit (REL): 0.001 ppm (0.007 mg/m3) TWA; Appendix A - NIOSH Potential Occupational Carcinogens

Health Factors

  • Carcinogenic Classification:
  • NIOSH Immediately Dangerous To Life or Health Concentration (IDLH): 2 ppm
  • Potential Symptoms: Headache, dizziness; nausea, vomiting, epigastric pain; substernal pain; eye, respiratory irritation; cough, shortness of breath (hyperpnea); cyanosis; pulmonary edema (may be delayed); weakness; leukocytosis; pneumonitis, pulmonary fibrosis; cerebral edema, delirium, convulsions; contact dermatitis; skin and lung sensitization; [potential occupational carcinogen]; in animals: reproductive, teratogenic effects.
  • Health Effects: Acute lung edema (HE11); Acute CNS effects (HE4); Suspect teratogen (HE5); Explosive, Flammable (HE18)
  • Affected Organs: paranasal sinus, CNS, reproductive system
  • Notes:
    1. OSHA Select Carcinogen.
    2. May explode on heating at 60°C or ignite spontaneously on contact with air.
  • Literature Basis:
    • NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards: Nickel carbonyl.
    • International Chemical Safety Cards (WHO/IPCS/ILO): Nickel carbonyl.
    • EPA Air Toxics Website: Nickel Compounds. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Technology Transfer Network.
    • Berge, S.R. and Skyberg, K.: Radiographic evidence of pulmonary fibrosis and possible etiologic factors at a nickel refinery in Norway. J. Environ. Monit. 5(4): 681-688, 2003.
    • Pohanish, R.P. (editor): Nickel Carbonyl. In, Sittig's Handbook of Toxic and Hazardous Chemicals and Carcinogens, Fourth Ed., Vol. 2. Norwich, NY: Noyes Publications, William Andrew Publishing, 2002, pp. 1671-1673.
    • Scott, L.K., Grier, L.R., Arnold, T.C. and Conrad, S.A.: Respiratory failure from inhalational nickel carbonyl exposure treated with continuous high-volume hemofiltration and disulfiram. Inhal. Toxicol. 14(11): 1103-1109, 2002.
  • Date Last Revised: 06/24/2004

Monitoring Methods used by OSHA

Primary Laboratory Sampling/Analytical Method (SLC1):
  • Glass Fiber Filter (37 mm) in series with a Midget Fritted Glass Bubbler (MFGB) containing 15 mL 0.1 N HCl.
  • maximum volume: 480 Liters
  • minimum volume: 240 Liters
  • maximum flow rate: 1.0 L/min
  • current analytical method: Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy; AAS/GF
  • method reference: OSHA Salt Lake Technical Center (SLTC) In-House File
  • method classification: Partially Validated
  • note: Submit as a separate sample. When analysis of a compound is requested, an elemental analysis is performed and reported as the compound.

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